TRURO – Telling stories is something Rick Butler has always done, and now some of those stories have been compiled into a book.
‘The Mountie in the House and other stories’ is the third book for the former Truro author, who still maintains the Pleasant Street home he spent most of his growing up years in. He will be at Coles in the Truro Mall on July 24 for a signing from 3 to 4 p.m.
“This is my first fiction book. I would tell my wife stories, it’s something I’d always done,” said Butler, adding he told stories during show and tell in elementary school as well. “I would tell the stories my dad told me from the days when he was a Mountie, and I would tell old stories from Nova Scotia.”
Butler’s wife of four years, although they’ve been together for eight, suggested he compile some of those stories into a book. Several years ago, Butler sat down and wrote one of those stories, followed by another and another. Two have been published in literary journals and are included in the 14 that are inside this book.
“Having those two published encouraged me to keep going. I finished just last year,” he said. “There are quite a few set in Nova Scotia, and here we are, back where it all started.”
With homes in California and Manhattan, the latter of where Butler was for this interview, the Truro residence is a place the author visits annually.
“My father was originally from Ireland – Cpl. Dick Butler. And if you’re Irish, you’re sentimental,” he said about why he wanted to maintain the home over the years. “I never fully left Truro. I enjoy coming back.”
Butler spent from Grade 5 until he graduated in the 1960s inside the home on Pleasant Street.
“I’ve carried Truro around inside me for many years,” he said.
Having spent more than half his life in California, Butler has included stories of those days in the book, as well as those from Nova Scotia.
“Many of my professional experiences have happened in California. A lot of them are about working in the film industry, such as meeting Michael Jackson on a film project.”
With an interest in screenwriting, Butler moved to California 25 years ago with a screenplay idea of a singer so familiar he can’t complete ordinary, everyday things.
“The biggest star at that time, which was the early 90s, was Michael Jackson,” said Butler, adding his agent was able to set up a meeting with the pop star. “That was how it started.”
Along with the story of Butler’s meeting Jackson, he’s included a story about a young boy who leaves his house in Truro to drive to Toronto with his mother to see friends she hadn’t seen since moving to Nova Scotia.
“The boy meets a wealthy woman who lives in a large house in Rosedale and while there, he discovers a very large secret in a hidden room inside the house,” explains Butler. “It’s a very important life lesson this boy learns in a much larger house.”
Along with the Truro signing, Butler will host a reading and signing at the Halifax Public Library on Spring Garden Road on July 19 at noon.
‘The Mountie in the House’ is available at Coles, as well as online on amazon.ca. His current project is a children’s book called ‘The Little Man in the Big Dog Suit,’ inspired by his French poodle, Mr. Bailey.
WORKS FROM RICK BUTLER:
- Three non-fiction books: ‘The Trudeau Decade’ and ‘Quebec: The People Speak,’ published by Doubleday, and ‘Vanishing Canada,’ published by Irwin Publishing
- Written an episode of Paramount television’s series ‘Friday the 13th’ called ‘The Sweetest Sting’
- Has consulted on the series outline and story bible for the series ‘Bordertown’
- Wrote an animated feature film treatment for Disney – ‘Humphrey: Prince of Whales’ – that is still in development
- Produced two TV movies – ‘Maggie and Pierre’ and ‘Balconville’ for Superchannel in Canada and Bravo in the U.S.
- Has also produced a number of records for RCA, including ‘Bells and Brass’ with the Peace Tower Bells and Canadian Brass Quartet, and ‘Carnival,’ a children’s album with Toronto’s Jerry Brodey
- He is also involved in real estate and owns The Hotel California in Santa Monica and San Francisco, which provides the background for many of the quirky, comic stories including ‘Moonwalking with Michael’